Button: “Next 10 weeks could decide title”

Jenson Button says it is essential he gets up to speed with his new surroundings at McLaren in order to get his championship defence off to a good start.

New team mate Lewis Hamilton revealed the pair will meet up at Woking later this month but haven’t seen each other since Button’s shock McLaren switch was revealed in November.

Here’s the full Q&A supplied by McLaren:

Jenson Button

You?re now officially a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver ?ǣ how does it feel?
??Obviously, it?s fantastic to be part of one of the most famous names in Formula 1. But it?s also exhilarating: I?d been at the same team for seven years so this is a big cultural change for me, and something that I?m really looking forward to.

??There are a lot of new faces to remember and lots of names to learn ?ǣ and that?s all got to be done alongside the engineering and limited testing we have ahead of the 2010 season. But I?m loving every minute of it ?ǣ the atmosphere within the team feels fantastic, and I?ve already started to feel at home here. I can?t wait to get out in the fantastic new car the team has built for me!??

Where do your priorities lie over the next four weeks?
??Having no testing until the first week of February is something of a mixed blessing ?ǣ it gives me the time to really get to know the guys at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and to properly integrate myself into the team ?ǣ which I am absolutely committed to doing ?ǣ but, equally, it?s another month without any running in the car ?ǣ and getting miles under my belt will be crucial ahead of the first race.

??So, it?s only natural that there will be a lot of factory-based work for the next few weeks. I?ll be starting to work with my engineers, who are a fantastic bunch of guys. But, honestly, I really cannot wait to get out to Valencia and get my first run in the MP4-25 ?ǣ I think that?s when it will finally sink in that I?m a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver.??

2010: a new year ?ǣ how are you planning the successful defence of your world title?
??Obviously, my aim is to keep the number one on my car for as long as possible! But, at the moment, it?s a little bit too early to start talking about the world championship. The backbone of any title challenge is built on good preparation, hard word, focus and dedication.

??And the hard work starts here ?ǣ the next 10 weeks could well largely dictate the destiny of the 2010 world championship, so it?s crucial that we start testing very strongly and that we never let up.
??I?m more motivated than ever to work with the team and my engineers, and I?ve extremely positive for the year ahead.??

Lewis Hamilton

How have you been preparing for the 2010 season?
??I?ve been mainly training and trying to keep fit. At the end of the 2009 season, I promised myself that I would aim to be 100 per cent fit and focused on the new year, so I?ve been working hard. When I?m not training, I?ve just been at home in Geneva, preparing for Christmas and the new year.??

Are you looking forward to trying the new car for the first time?
??Yes, I?m excited and can?t wait to see it and test it. Hopefully, it?s going to be great for our team next year. I?ll be working closely with my engineers and the team to make sure we all hit the ground running with the new car.

??You can never take competitiveness for granted in Formula 1 ?ǣ we saw that last year ?ǣ so our common goal has to be to make MP4-25 a winning proposition as quickly as possible. Only once we?ve achieved that can we start looking at winning races and then, eventually, the world championship.??

Have you had much of a chance to speak to Jenson yet?
??Not yet, unfortunately. Our paths haven?t really crossed since he was announced at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes back in November. We?ve both been to MTC for our seat fittings ?ǣ but they were on different days. The first time we?ll start working together is later this month, when we?ll both be at Woking together, then we?ll have the launch and the first test. We?ll be sharing the pre-season testing equally, and it will be important to keep a crossover of information between us to make sure we are both pulling in the right direction.??

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12 comments on Button: “Next 10 weeks could decide title”

  1. Prisoner Monkeys said on 4th January 2010, 10:48

    You’ve got to hand it to JB – he’s certainly not intimidated by Lewis Hamilton and his relationship with the team. Other drivers would back off in the face of how tight they are, but Button seems to want to throw himself at this one. It could be the key to success; everyone else has a defeatist attitude towards joining the team. It’s well-documented that I’m a Buttoneer through and through, but I honestly think JB could pull this one off. Write him off at your peril.

  2. Macca said on 4th January 2010, 11:53

    I hate to say it but I think Button switching to Mclaren has killed his chances of back to back titles.

  3. Ned Flanders said on 4th January 2010, 12:12

    I like McLaren- but I really wish they wouldn’t insist on their drivers refering to the team as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in every single interview

    • Invisiblekid said on 4th January 2010, 12:33

      That’ll be Vodafone’s and Mercs insistence. but yeah it does grate depending on the team name.

      Something like Red Bull is better since that’s all we’ve ever heard them as and its not such a mouthful.

      But it’s saying it or no money, so it’s not like the team have much choice

    • Invoke said on 4th January 2010, 12:38

      I’m sure Vodafone & Merc made sure the contract stipulates team members are always to refer to the team in this way, but your right it is irritating to say the least!

    • Invoke said on 4th January 2010, 12:39

      damn invisible you beat me to it :)

    • sato113 said on 4th January 2010, 12:57

      yeah williams drivers have to say ‘at&t williams’ all the time. now schumi and rosberg will be saying ‘Mercedes petronas’. at least virgin will be ‘virgin’ and red bull is the same too.

    • lol Ned I was just about to write this too. This is what annoys me the most about McLaren

  4. I hope Jenson takes a leaf out of Alonso’s book and spends a prolonged period of time at McLaren HQ. In fact he should rent/buy a house nearby and be in the factory practically every day until race day in order to get friendly with the team and get them on his side. This will put the psychological ball in Lewis’s court as the team is already geared to him and will set the stage for a good racing show down…

  5. Greetings,

    Re:I’m sure Vodafone & Merc made sure the contract stipulates team

    >>When the drivers give the mouth full speech, “Vodaphone Mclaren Mercedes’ they are just saying the team name. Mercedes, have a % holding in the team – which has now reduced. HUGE speculation is that Mclaren want to be the british Ferarri, and build their own engine. They have the road car (Mclaren F1). Similarly likewise with Vodaphone, they have a small holding in.
    Like before the tabacco ban, it was West Mclaren Mercedes which became Team Mclaren Mercedes.
    BIG up, to the woking guys

  6. Harry said on 5th January 2010, 15:17

    Regarding the ‘next 10 weeks could decide the title”

    As the saying goes…you can win the race on the 1st lap but you can certainly loose it.

    You cant win the season in the next 10 weeks but you can certainly loose it. You still need, strategy, drivers and most of all luck. Afterall, the cars can win the WCC by themself.

    • Harry said on 5th January 2010, 15:19

      As the saying goes…you can win the race on the 1st lap but you can certainly loose it

      Meant to say……As the saying goes…you can’t win the race on the 1st lap but you can certainly loose it

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